Making Stroopwafels

The biopsy completed
I go home to make
Stroopwafels,

and pour myself
into each exacted step:

let the dough rise,
after bringing the ingredients together
massaging the butter
with a gentle circular motion

a familiar touch from
the last few weeks
three fingers around in a revolution

set up the iron,
questioning if it’s hot enough
before bringing the dough to it

paper gown loosely tied
arm in the air
a woman in pink scrubs
leads me to the machine

press each ball of batter
from tumor to

golden
paper-thin and delicate

making sure the pattern
comes through clearly

images come back
alright so I can
dress and go

I melt more butter,
creating cinnamon syrup
watching it carefully

more pink scrubs
and a long needle
guided by ultrasound

I grab a serrated knife
and tear through the cookie

It might be something
to deal with
a major detail moving
to the top of my life story

Pooling hot caramel on one half
counting to ten as it cools and thickens
from nothing to something
I made this, setting the top on
slowly, so nothing is wasted out the edges

I take the next in line.

My Dutch friend said
weeks earlier he couldn’t
find these cookies anywhere.
Stroopwafels, he called them,
back when I had time
to listen.

The kitchen warms from
the heat of the stove.
My face flushes
and I forget about
the treatment brochure
in my purse,
just in case, they said.

It takes all afternoon.
Wrapping cookies passes more time
I box them up for him.

By the time he opens the package
I’ll know.

Jessica S. Frank is a poet from Wisconsin. She has been published in a few small journals that closed, and then a few more that are still open. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Arteles (Hameenkyro, Finland) in March 2015.

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